A pensioner has been jailed for repeatedly calling out police or paramedics when he was drunk.

John Dexter had a fascination with being touched by men in uniform and made a string of bogus 999 calls in the hope of being manhandled by the emergency services.

He made numerous false calls between August and November last year claiming to have harmed himself at the house in Pilton, Barnstaple, where he was living at the time.

He carried on making similar calls after moving to supported accommodation in Ilfracombe leading him to be locked up for breaking bail conditions.

Dexter has now been banned from making any 999 calls unless there is a genuine emergency under a criminal behaviour order imposed at Exeter Crown Court.

Dexter, aged 66, of Oxford Park, Ilfracombe, admitted nine offences of persistently making calls which caused a nuisance, annoyance or anxiety.

Another ten charges of having contact with emergency workers with the intention of gaining sexual gratification were dismissed by Judge David Evans.

The judge jailed him for eight weeks but Dexter was released immediately because he has already served his sentence while on remand.

Judge Evans told him: "Your calls used valuable air time and diverted scarce resources when they were responded to.

"The harassment and alarm which you caused to emergency workers when your true underlying motivation became clear was significant. This was no joke for them."

Caroline Bolt, prosecuting, said the calls persisted over a long period of time and caused particular concern to the emergency workers who had to deal with Dexter when he was drunk.

In most cases he called 999 after he had been drinking and claimed he had either harmed himself or was about to.

Tara Woolf, defending, said Dexter realises he needs treatment for his alcoholism and is hoping to be accepted by a residential rehabilitation centre in Dorset.

She said his problem is that he cannot distinguish between a real and a false emergency when he is drunk and on one occasion he called the police because he could not find his way home from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe.